Planet Rugby

Preview: Munster v Gloucester

18th October 2013 13:25

Share:

Peter O Mahony Munster 2012

Back for Munster: Peter O┐Mahony

Gloucester will look to back up victory at home last week as they visit Thomond Park to face Munster on Saturday.

While Gloucester travel to Ireland on the back of a morale-boosting win over Perpignan at Kingsholm, the boot was on the foot for Munster as they let a lead slip late on in Edinburgh.

Defeat means there is even greater emphasis on this next encounter, with Munster knowing that another shock loss would leave them with a mountain to climb to avoid missing out on a quarter-final spot for just the second time in 17 seasons.

Munster have home advantage well and truly in their favour, though, with only Leicester and Ulster having triumphed at Thomond Park in the history of the Heineken Cup.

Gloucester not won away from home in the Heineken Cup since 2011, against Connacht. But the Cherry and Whites have won five of their last six Heineken Cup games against Irish clubs, losing only to Munster in the 2007/08 quarter-finals.

Munster have lost their last two Heineken Cup games; they have not lost three consecutive games since 2007.

At home, Munster have won 13 of their last 14 matches in the Heineken Cup. This will be the sixth meeting between these clubs in the tournament. All four pool meetings to date have produced home victories.

Munster Head Coach Rob Penney has made a number of changes to his starting XV.

The one change to the back-line sees Johne Murphy take the place of the injured Simon Zebo on the wing and in the pack Penney introduces Damien Varley, BJ Botha, Donncha O'Callaghan and captain Peter O'Mahony.

Murphy, who travelled as a backs reserve last weekend, comes straight in to the starting team as does O'Mahony, who was ruled out of the Edinburgh clash.

James Coughlan makes way for O'Mahony on Saturday and Donnacha Ryan shifts to blind-side replacing the injured Paddy Butler.

Donncha O'Callaghan resumes his second row partnership with Paul O'Connell as Varley and Botha join Kilcoyne in the front row. Cathal Sheridan takes the place of Duncan Williams in the replacements.

Meanwhile, Saturday will be a memorable occasion for Gloucester second row Will James, as he skippers the side on his 150th competitive appearance for the club.

The Welsh international captains a side which retains just three players from last weekend's starting line up - Jonny May, Ryan Mills and Mike Tindall, as Director of Rugby Nigel Davies lives up to his promise to rotate the squad.

"When the draw was made, this one stood out and we're looking forward to it. There's a rich history between the two clubs," said Davies.

"It's a huge challenge for us. They're coming off the back of, what would be for them, a bad loss and I'm sure they're going to come out all guns blazing, which they always do at Thomond Park anyway.

"It was good to go there in preseason for the experience, although the crowd will be up a few levels on what we experienced then for that friendly. But we've had a feel for the place and the players will know what to expect in terms of the stadium etc."

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 James Downey, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony (capt), 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Donnacha Ryan, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 James Coughlan, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Denis Hurley,

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Jonny May, 10 Jonny Bentley, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Will James (capt), 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawiduik, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Daniel George, 17 James Gibbons, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 James Hudson, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Rob Cook,

Date: Saturday, 19 October
Venue: Thomond Park
Kick-off: 18.00 BST (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs Exeter19:45
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs Zebre19:30
Cardiff Blues vs Ulster19:35
Connacht vs Leinster19:35
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs Edinburgh16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse18:00
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Oyonnax18:00
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:00
Montpellier vs Stade Francais18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26